Premier, health minister expected to unveil plans for new hospital in Surrey Monday

The province is expected to firm up plans to build a new hospital in Surrey B.C. Monday morning.

B.C.’s Health Minister Adrian Dix along with Premier John Horgan will hold a press conference at 10:15 a.m. from the foyer of the Surrey Museum to provide details.

In 2017, he promised the fast-growing city a new hospital and that it could be constructed in six to 10 years.

For those in the community, like former first responder and city councillor, Mike Starchuk, it can’t come soon enough.

“This city needs another hospital. Everybody is talking about it,” he said. “There’s not one person … that hasn’t been touched by waiting for a loved one in a hallway, or an emergency ward, for hours and hours.”

Surrey Memorial Hospital opened in February 1959. In 2011, it was expanded with an eight-storey critical care tower, 151 new patient beds and an larger emergency room, but there still have been struggles to meet demands from the city’s ever increasing population.

Healthcare stretch

According to Statistics Canada Surrey increased from 394,976 people in 2006 to 468,251 people in 2011.

Its population grew another 10.6 per cent by 2016, to 517,887.

Dix, speaking on Sunday at a separate news event in Vancouver, said health care in Surrey needs to meet demands.

“Just growing and growing and growing,” he said about the city. “It’s an extraordinary community, it’s B.C.’s youngest community, so it has some specific needs in terms of health.”

Adrian Dix, B.C.’s minister of health, promised in 2017 a new hospital would be built in Surrey. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

On Sunday, city officials confirmed the province’s plans include a new urgent and primary care centre for Cloverdale.

The province have been opening similar centres across the province. They provide timely medical treatment for people who seek help for non-emergency conditions such as cuts, earaches, back pain and sore throats.

As of November 2019, there are 11 open across the province, with three more opening soon. Surrey has one on 137A Street, but Surrey City Councillor Jack Hundial says a new centre will open in Cloverdale and will be included in Monday’s announcement.

He said it will have the capacity to admit patients who need a bed for treatment.

“It’s going to be a place where there will be diagnosis, plus if we need to keep someone overnight, we should be able to do that,” he said.

Hundial says the new urgent and primary care centre is expected to be built on a property near the Surrey Museum.

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